It’ll take me a year to read this

I always have two books on the go. Usually fiction at bedtime, so my brain doesn’t get in too much of a tizz. I leave the stuff I really need to concentrate on for my commute, in the (usually vain) hope that I won’t end up sitting next to someone intent on destroying my reading time with their inane phone conversation, loud sniffing habit, or compulsion to TALK LOUDLY to the person sat next to them. Some people still don’t know the rules.

This year I’m adding a third book to my reading rota. I’ve become interested in reading people’s diaries as a way of exploring the concept of ‘voice’ in writing, so I was really excited to open a generous stack of books on Christmas morning and see The Assassin’s Cloak propping it up.This anthology of diarists contains several entries for every day of the year – from a wide range of famous and not so well known people throughout history (luckily there’s a brief biography of each at the back).

I started on the 1st Jan and I’m reading a day’s worth of entries each night. To me, this seems like the most rewarding way of reading the book – I can work my way through the year as the diarists do, comparing what I’ve been doing and what I’m thinking with what was going on in their life on the same day decades or even hundreds of years ago.

This book won’t be much of a comfort during the wakeful hours – I can only get through a couple of pages a night, but I think it’ll be a great companion for the coming year.



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